How you add and organize content in your courses impacts how easily students can find the information they need. While there isn’t just one way to set things up, it helps to know what your options are to determine what will work best for you and your students. 

Here, we’ll cover the basics of creating content areas, items, folders, and learning modules and making them easy to navigate for students. 

Creating a Content Area 

You likely already have some Content Areas in your course if you are copying a course over from a previous term, but if you’re starting fresh, just want to do a little reorganization, or need to add additional content, here’s how you can create a new Content Area.

A Content Area is a page in your course. Each Content Area has a link that will appear in the left navigation menu. The Content Area is where you will add your course Items, Folders, and Learning Modules. 

To Create a Content Area:

  1. Move your cursor over the circle and plus symbols at the top of the left hand menu
  2. Select Content Area
  3. Name your content area (Assignment, Syllabus, etc.) 
  4. Click the checkbox that says Available to Users (this enables students to see it)
  5. Click Submit

Your new Content Area will appear in the upper portion of the left hand menu, but if you want to move it simply drag it and drop it where you’d like it to be. To enter the Content Area, simply click on the link in the left menu. 

Now you can move on to the next steps: adding Items, Folders, Learning Modules and getting it all set up and ready to go for students. 

Additional Resources 

Creating Folders

Folders allow you to organize your course content within a course area and make it easier to find course materials and reduce the amount of scrolling students will need to do to find what they need to complete coursework. 

You can create several course Folders within a single course area and create sub-folders within those folders, too (though keep in mind that you want to make things as easy to find as possible for students). 

To Create a Folder: 

  1. Open the Content Area you need to edit 
  2. Confirm that Edit Mode is ON
  3. Put your cursor on Build Content
  4. Select Content Folder
  5. Enter a name for the folder.
  6. Add a description/instructions and set Permit Users to Yes
  7. Set folder availability (If you want a folder only to appear in a certain week of the course, this is where you’ll set those dates)
  8. Click Submit

And that’s it! From here, you can add whatever content items you would like to each folder. 

Additional Resources

Creating Learning Modules 

Like Folders, Learning Modules are a way for you to group course materials together, but with two additional features: a) an option to force sequential viewing so that students must go through the module in the order you choose, and b) a Table of Contents, so that students can see and go to any area of the Learning Module.

To Create a Learning Module:

  1. Access a Content Area (Assignments, Course Documents, etc.)
  2. Ensure Edit Mode is ON
  3. Put your cursor on Build Content
  4. Select Learning Module
  5. On the Create Learning Module page, name your Learning Module
  6. Under Availability, select Yes (this makes it available to users)
  7. Use the Display After and Display Until date and time fields if you want to limit availability to certain times 
  8. Decide if you want to select Yes to Enforce Sequential Viewing of the Learning Module. This forces students to go through the module in a set order.
  9. Select Yes to force the Learning Module to Open in New Window.
  10. Choose whether you wan to Track Number of Views.
  11. Select Yes to Show Table of Contents to Users
  12. Select the type of Hierarchy Display from the drop-down list
  13. Click Submit.

From there, you can add any Blackboard content type or tool to a Leaning Module. For example, you can create Items, Folder, External Links, Images, or add a link to a Test, a Blog, a Wiki or even a Discussion Board forum.

Additionally, your settings for your Learning Module can be changed to cater to your course needs as the semester goes on. For example, you may want students to go through all the material sequentially the first time through, then later remove that setting so students can use to modules to study. To edit your Learning Modules, choose Edit in the double-chevron drop down menu next to the Learning Module’s name.

Additional Learning Module Resources: 

Creating Items and Files 

Once you have your Content Areas, Folders, and Learning Modules set, you can begin adding Items and Files to them. What’s the difference between these two things? 

Content Item allows you to add text directly to your Content Area space. Things like instructions, an introduction, a list, or whatever else you need to share with students. You can also embed videos and add images. Within an Item, you can attach files like PDFs, docs, or PowerPoints which will appear as a link to students. 

If you simply choose to add a file, then there will be no accompanying text and students will see JUST the link to the file. 

To Add Items: 

  1. Open the Content Area, Folder or Learning Module you want to edit 
  2. Ensure Edit Mode is ON
  3. On the Action Bar, point to Build Content to access the drop-down list
  4. Select Item from the Create pull down menu column
  5. On the Create Item page, type the item’s name
  6. The default color is black, We do not recommend that you change the color for accessibility purposes, but if you need to do so, make sure the text is easily readable.
  7. Type instructions or a description in the Text box
  8. Attach a file if desired. Click Browse My Computer to locate your file or drag and drop your file from your computer.
  9. Select Yes to Permit Users to View this Content
  10. Select Yes or No for Track Number of Views
  11. Limit the availability of the item with Display After and/or Display Until dates if desired
  12. Click Submit.

To Add Files: 

  1. Go into a Content area in your course
  2. Click on Build Content
  3. Click on File
  4. Enter a name for the File
  5. To attach a file to either an Item or a File, click the Browse button and find the file
  6. Click the Submit button to publish the Item or File to your courses

Additional Resources: 

Questions? Email us!